Questions tagged [commentaries]

Questions related to Jewish commentaries, their meaning and their origin.

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Creation before using the waters?

At the beginning, in the book of Genesis there is this phrase: ‘ וְר֣וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים מְרַחֶ֖פֶת עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַמָּֽיִם׃’ At the beginning of G-ds creation of the heaven and the earth, when the earth was ...
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Mishneh Kesef on the heifer with the broken neck

In Rabbi Kaspi’s commentary on Deuteronomy 21:1, he refers to ‘the teacher’ as having already given a reason for the commandment. Who is this teacher and where did s/he give their reason? Thanks.
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An unformed and unfilled earth covered

I was looking at Genesis 1:2 the other day and I was wondering if I understood it correctly was the earth unformed and unfilled and covered (surrounded) by water and darkness?
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Where in the Tanakh, on a peshat level, is “Yetzer HaTov” derived?

Where in the Tanakh, on a peshat level, is "Yetzer HaTov" derived? Rashi seems to derive "Yetzer HaRa" from Genesis 8:21 (because the words "yetzer" and "ra" ...
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Isaiah 52:14 what does it say?

I’ve some trouble with translating and understanding Isaiah 52:14. The words me’ish (מאיש) and mi’bnei adam (מבני אדם) to me seem to translate: from/out of man (like in Genesis 2:23 or Psalm 18:49) ...
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Does the Hebrew word “Torah” originate from BOTH the words “Hora’ah” (meaning, Teaching) and “Orah” (meaning, Light)?

Does the Hebrew word "Torah" originate from BOTH the words “Hora’ah” (meaning, Teaching) and “Orah” (meaning, Light)? The accurate meaning of “Torah” is twofold. Firstly it comes from the ...
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The תמונה יהוה?

Devarim/Deuteronomy 4:12 says: ‘ותמונה אינכם ראים’, the people perceived no shape / saw no shape. Devarim/Deuteronomy 4:15 even states the prople should watch themselves for they did not perceived any ...
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Did the Tiferet Yisrael say that Jenner, Drake and Gutenberg believed in the Torah?

In Tiferet Yisrael (Boaz) to Avot 3, number 1, it says: ואנחנו רואים כמה מחסידיהן שמלבד שמכירין יוצר בראשית, ומאמינין בתה"ק שהיא אלהית, ועושין ג"ח גם לישראל, וכמה מהן שהיטיבו ביותר לכל באי ...
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Prophecies about past or future events?

Why are some prophecies described as if they already happend, as if they occurred in the past, while at the time/moment the prophecy is spoken it all still has to take place and talks about the future....
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Call someone else as G-d Savior?

I was reading Zechariah the other day and came across a phrase from Zechariah 9:9: “Behold, your king will come to you, a righteous man and a savior”. If I’m right this is about the ‘last redeemer’ ...
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HaShem Echad and not HaShem Hu Echad

Looking at the famous phrase of Deuteronomy 6:4 I noticed the verse doesn’t state: “HaShem Hu Echad”, but only “HaShem echad” why is this? It sounds like Yom Echad (one day) or Am Echad (one nation). ...
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Zechariah 2 whom is speaking, who is whom and saying what exactly?

Looking at Zechariah 2:12-15 it reads: “For thus said the LORD of Hosts..” “ Then you shall know that I was sent by the LORD of Hosts...” “For lo, I come; and I will dwell in your midst—declares the ...
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How to define the meaning of the punishment of the snake?

If I’m correct Sforno in his commentary on Bereshit 3:1 teaches in short that the snake represents ‘the power of imagination’ (imaginative faculty). The Or HaChayim teaches that Adam and Chava were ...
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Tosfos Rabbeinu Peretz on Sanhedrin

I saw in Rav Steinsaltz's commentary on Sanhedrin 17a a reference to Tosafos Rabbeinu Peretz. Is Tosafos Rabbeinu Peretz on Sanhedrin available online anywhere?
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Torah Commentary of R. Nissim of Marseilles

Is the commentary of R. Nissim of Marseilles on the Torah available for free online?
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Yom Teruah a Rosh HaShanah and commemoration or memorial of what exactly?

The Tenach mentions that the first (day) of the seventh month (Tishri) shall be for us a solemn rest and a remembrance of blasts, a sacred occasion/convocation; no work shall be done, it shall be a ...
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Commentary of Rash Sirilio on Zeraim

Does anyone know where I can find the commentary of Rash Sirilio on Seder Zeraim?
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A voice is heard in Ramah

Jeremiah 31:15 teaches us that ‘A voice is heard in Ramah (could also be understood as ‘on high’)’, it seems to exist of lamenting and weeping (a mourning of some kind). And it’s connected to the ...
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Ma'aseh Oreg on Mishnah Machshirin

Artscroll edition of Machshirin refers to something called Ma'aseh Oreg making a comment on mishnah 5:7. I can't find any work of this name on either Hebrewbooks, Otzar or Bar Ilan. Or indeed Google......
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Sterilization permissible?

After a man and wife had several children, would it be permissible for a man or woman to be sterilized? Any scriptural proof to show whether or not it is allowed?
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Interpret a command differently from the way it’s literally described?

Looking atDeuteronomy 21 which talks about the wayward, stubborn and rebellious, defiant son who at a certain point (and after he went to trial before the court) should be stoned to death. Or ...
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A different Lulav set?

Vayikra/Leviticus 23:40 וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן, פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים, וַעֲנַף עֵץ-עָבֹת, וְעַרְבֵי-נָחַל ; וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם--שִׁבְעַת יָמִים. On ...
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Jacob I have loved Easo I have hated

The prophet Malachi in Ch 1:2,3 says “...Was not Esau Jacob's brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau..., Here a selection is made by G-d, between two brothers. ...
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127 views

Position of our hands while praying?

How should our hands be positioned in prayer? Is there a right or wrong way? Various biblical passages seem to indicate that raising the handpalms is an appropriate gesture for prayer. Verses like ...
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179 views

Who or what did G-d use while creating?

I’ve a question, G-d created the heavens and the earth, but in order to do so did He used an 'agent’ i.e. a tool or instrument of some kind, a way or manner in which others were involved? The spirit ...
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Why so much critique of the ibn Ezra?

Throughout Chumash, the Ramba"n goes after the ibn Ezra. The Ramba"n says in his introduction to the Chumash that his attitude toward the ibn Ezra is "תוכחה גלויה ואהבה מסותרת". In ...
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Baal HaTurim written for his father? [duplicate]

Rav Eytan Feiner mentioned that the Baal Haturim wrote his commentary on Chumash in one night as a gift for his father. Although there are noting the commentary being written in one night, are there ...
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Parshat Korach - Why did God finally take off his gloves here?

We find previously that G-d warned Moses that he would destroy the nation, but it seems quite clear that it was just a way of having Moses intervene on their behalf and was just a warning. Here we ...
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315 views

Skin color Adam and Chava

What skin color did adam and chava have? I learned that if all people indeed came from them at least one of them had to have a dark skin color.
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Why do the last words in psalms 119:11 seem superfluous?

Psalms 119:11 in the Koren Jerusalem Tanakh appears (in English) to say: "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee". ‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎I was ...
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The panav of HaShem [duplicate]

Exodus 33:28 and 23: לֹא תוּכַל לִרְאֹת אֶת-פָּנָי:  כִּי לֹא-יִרְאַנִי הָאָדָם, וָחָי. וְרָאִיתָ, אֶת-אֲחֹרָי; וּפָנַי, לֹא יֵרָאוּ. Looking at these verses G-d clearly says that no one can see ...
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Is there a list of all of Abarbanel’s questions on the Torah?

I was wondering if anyone has this by itself compiled as a tool for learning the Parsha. I want to go over each question and look at the mefarshim.
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Who was the Megilat Esther?

As in the commentary on the Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvot. Do we know this person’s identity? Or even when this person lived?
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Menachot 65/66 why did the counting of the omer needed to start with a fixed time?

I was looking at all the arguments made (against the Boethians) in favor of counting the omer from 16th Nisan until Shavuot - Menachot 65/66. Then I went looking at Leviticus 23 and Deuteronomy 16. ...
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Tzitzit an appearance in visible form

Rabbi Hirsch seems to have written something like: “tzitzit; indeed it is called tzitzit from the Hebrew root meaning “to appear in physical form.” Which root is that? And what does this mean in ...
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How many covenants did Hashem make with Abraham?

How many covenants did Hashem make with Abraham? When reading Bereshit/Genesis, on the Chabad website, one comes across various passages of Hashem's conversation with Abram/Abraham (chapters 15, 17 ...
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Bible commentaries [duplicate]

I have begun to research biblical commentaries (for the first time ever) like Ben Asher and Rashi, and am asking what would be the other commentators worth reading? I have a big list I can choose from ...
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61 views

Common denominator cases tumah

Looking for a common denominator for all mentioned cases of tumah, trying to find something that would bind them together, I found that a thematic denominator is death (or loss of life, diminution of ...
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Help finding source ונטמתם

There seems to be this teaching (gemarah) in the Talmud (Yoma 39) on Vayikra/Leviticus 11:43 regards the phrase ונטמתם. Because this is written without the expected alef it could be read as v’nitamtem ...
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120 views

What do the terms tahor, tamey, taharah and tumah add to the description that one isn’t allowed to enter the temple under certain circumstances

The Tanach is full of descriptions of what's allowed and what's not allowed; commandments and prohibitions. But there are also certain occasions in which someone or something is describes as tahor or ...
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Looking for a commentary, possibly in Mas. Nazir

Connected to this question. In the discussion of the relationship between the Nachash and Chava, as related in Masechet Avoda Zara, 22b, the Chidushei Agadot summarizes opinions about the connection ...
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One visitor healed Avraham

From were was the idea derived that one of the angels/messengers who visited Avraham healed him? Although tradition teaches us that Avraham had just been circumcised, the text in itself doesn’t ...
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Life choices how to know if one made the good choice

G-d Himself tells us to choose between life and good, and death and evil. Sometimes good is translated as prosperity here and evil as destruction or adversity. הַֽחַיִּ֖ים וְאֶת־הַטּ֑וֹב וְאֶת־...
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Question about netiyot angels

I came across this article: "G‑d's angel called to him from heaven and said…, 'Do not harm the boy. Do not do anything to him.'" (Gen. 22:11-12) The apparently strange phenomenon in this ...
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A Malach can only perform one mission at a time? [duplicate]

I heard that a Malach ("an angel charged with a message or mission") can only perform one mission (which could conclude multiple tasks) at a time, is this true?
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28 views

The source for breath of the mouth as the scent of an offering

I came across this quote: “May it be Your will that the breath that rises from my mouth at this moment be as the scent that rises from an offering in the fire of the altar..” It seems to a quote ...
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88 views

I will descend to Sodom and Amorah

In Genesis 18:21 G-d seems to say something like: I will descend now and see, whether according to her cry, which has come to Me, they have done. Did He really descend right at that moment in time or ...
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Are the words זרוע and צרוע connected?

Are the words זרוע the bone which is used with Pesach, and צרוע the outstretched arm of our G-d grammatically symbolically connected?
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33 views

May you live until one hundred and twenty [duplicate]

The phrase: May you live until one hundred and twenty (עד מאה ועשרים) is a famous one derived from different verses of the Tenach. But I would like to know if there is any deeper (gematrial) meaning ...
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39 views

Greeting the old

Could someone help me understand the meaning behind this saying from Midrash Tanchuma (Ki Tisa 27): המקבל פני זקן כאלו מקבל פני שכינהWhoever greets the old - it is as if they greet the Divine ...

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